The Camino intracranial pressure sensor: is it optimal technology? An internal audit with a review of current intracranial pressure monitoring technologies

Neurosurgery. 2001 Nov;49(5):1158-64; discussion 1164-5. doi: 10.1097/00006123-200111000-00026.


Objective: To audit the reliability of the Camino intracranial pressure (ICP) sensor (Camino Laboratories, San Diego, CA) in our clinical practice as part of a continuing quality assurance program, and to assess its relative usefulness as compared with currently available ICP monitoring technologies that we reviewed.

Design: Prospective audit of ICP device reliability and function in 50 patients with head injuries.

Methods: Zero drift was recorded immediately after the ICP device was removed from the patient. Dynamic frequency response bench testing of each functioning catheter from 0 to 30 Hz and static calibration testing from 0 to 100 mmHg during environmental temperature variation from 22 to 40 degrees C were carried out.

Results: Zero drift (range, -13 to 22 mmHg; median, -1 mmHg) was recorded immediately after the devices were removed from patients. Seventeen (50%) of the devices tested for zero drift had absolute drifts of at least 3 mmHg. There was no correlation between recorded zero drift and duration of monitoring (r = 0.154, P = 0.207). Five sensors (10% of those tested) failed during patient monitoring and were replaced. Static and dynamic calibration tests of the functioning sensors were within the manufacturer's specifications. However, the sensitivity of the devices to environmental temperature remains a problem.

Conclusion: The Camino ICP sensor remains one of the most popular ICP monitoring devices for use in patients with traumatic brain injuries. However, our recent in-house assessment demonstrated the robustness of the device to be less than adequate during routine practice. In this study, more than 50% exhibited zero drift greater than 3 mmHg, which is unacceptable in a catheter tip ICP monitoring device in which zero drift and calibration cannot be checked in vivo. A review of the literature revealed that other available ICP monitoring devices may prove to be more reliable and thus more appropriate for routine clinical measurement of ICP.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Equipment Design
  • Equipment Failure Analysis
  • Humans
  • Intracranial Hypertension / diagnosis*
  • Intracranial Hypertension / physiopathology
  • Medical Audit
  • Point-of-Care Systems*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Signal Processing, Computer-Assisted / instrumentation*
  • Transducers, Pressure*